Greetings from Sarah Sundin! I’ve just come home from the fabulous Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and now it’s back to work. But today’s work is fun! I get to interview a very special friend, novelist Cara Putman. Cara shares my love for World War II, and we were co-authors for Where Treetops Glisten. She also puts her background as a lawyer to use in mysteries and in her latest novel, Beyond Justice, a gripping legal thriller.
Cara, how many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?
I currently have 25 books out or in process. My latest book is Beyond Justice, and then I have several with Guidepost mysteries as well as Where Treetops Glisten and Shadowed by Grace.
You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
The writing life is truly a long ballgame and one that is constantly evolving. We have to stay on top of this ever-changing landscape and stay focused on why God has us in it. I have a saying on my desk that my friend Beth Vogt gave me. Remember why you started. That has been such a great reminder to see visually day after day. I started to have a way to tell the stories God has put in my heart. To share slices of His truth. So no matter how the industry shifts, if I remember why I started, I can stay true to my calling.
What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?
Be willing to try new things and invest in your career. One of the ways I’m doing that right now is republishing my early books where I’m getting the rights back. I’ve had them edited again as well as investing in covers, audio books, etc. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. I love these stories and I’m willing to take the risk to help them find a new audience today.
Also pay attention to your tribe. What are you supposed to be giving them? In a year where social media often left me twisted up inside, I really had to come back to why I’m there. And God has made it very clear that I’m on those spaces to remind people of the hope He brings. No one cares what I think about political issues or fill in the blank. What matters is that I’m pointing them to Him in a world that is desperately hopeless at times.
So true! What are the most effective means of book promotion you’ve tried?
Making sure I’m talking about other people’s books at least as much as I’m talking about mine. People love to see me promoting authors I enjoy *like you, Sarah!
Thank you, Cara! You’re very sweet. What’s your favorite way to connect with your readers?
I love connecting with readers through my newsletter, social media space, and website. I really enjoy all three.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
I took one of my novellas that I had the rights back to and made it the prequel to Beyond Justice and the rest of the Hidden Justice series. I gave it away through my newsletter and an Instafreebie promotion. As a result we almost didn’t put it up on Amazon, until readers told me they wanted to write reviews. So the book I was giving away for free has also been purchased. It makes me smile to think about that.
I love that! What are your top tips for new authors promoting their first book?
Know why you’re writing the book and what you want readers to know about you. What are you comfortable sharing? Where do you need to draw boundaries? What are you comfortable doing, and where do you just need to stay away? If you can answer these questions, you are well on your way to having a reason to promote your book. Do what’s fun for you!!
Great advice, Cara!
Writing for Him,